Lonnie Holley is touring Australia next week

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I first saw US musician Lonnie Holley high in a cliff top garden in the grounds of a swanky hotel in Ponta Do Sol, on the Portuguese Island of Madeira. It was back in 2019, part of the Concertos L, a summer series that brought touring musicians over for a week long residency culminating in a performance. You can find out more about the series here.

I knew nothing about Holley going in, and in retrospect I’m kind’ve thankful about that. His music was unprecedented; some kind of improvised blues infused spontaneous outsider music. It was like nothing that we’d ever heard before.

I later learned that he began making art late in life, and is something of a renaissance man, with drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, music, and filmmaking in his repertoire. His music though is quite idiosyncratic, and an extension of his personality, with his music and lyrics improvised on the spot and morphing with every performance. I subsequently picked up his 2018 album MITH, which features one of the standout songs from his Madeira performance ‘I Woke Up in a Fucked‐Up America’, though to be fair it sounded considerably different from the version above. But given the spontaneous nature of his music that’s to be expected. There’s nothing like being in the moment with Holley in full flight.

Lonnie Holley @ Ponta Do Sol Madeira 2019

Holley is coming to Australia

LONNIE HOLLEY + MOURNING [A] BLKSTAR TOUR DATES:
MELBOURNE: SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 23 @ MAX WATT’S, with special guest LEE BAINS (USA).
SYDNEY: TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 26 @ VOLUME FESTIVAL, ART GALLERY OF NSW: LONNIE HOLLEY + MOURNING [A] BLKSTAR.
PAMBULA, NSW: SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 30: LONNIE HOLLEY + MOURNING [A] BLKSTAR @ WANDERER FESTIVAL.
MELBOURNE: MONDAY OCTOBER 2: LONNIE HOLLEY talk event, WHEELER CENTRE.

You can find out more here.

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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.

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